We're approaching Full Hot Stove mode of the MLB offseason, and that means notable trades, free agent signings, and other goings-on can happen at any moment. So to prime the pump for these days and weeks of high winter intrigue, let's quickly round up some of the rumors that are out there on this fine Saturday. Onward into the muck.
Phillies add to list of GM candidates
Erstwhile Phillies GM Matt Klentak back in early October stepped down after five seasons at the helm. The Phillies have yet to tab his replacement, but they're busy assembling a list of serious candidates. Now you can add one more to the list:
Sources: #Dodgers assistant GM Jeff Kingston is a candidate for #Phillies GM position. Kingston was a finalist for the #Angels GM job earlier this offseason. Kingston has Pennsylvania ties, as a graduate of @DickinsonCol, about 130 miles west of Philadelphia. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 21, 2020
Kingston, 43, spent time in the Padres' front office under the late Kevin Towers and was later an assistant GM for the Mariners. Since late 2018, he's served as an assistant GM for the Dodgers, who of course are coming off a World Series title in 2020. As Morosi notes, Kingston has ties to the Philadelphia region.
Kingston isn't the only reported candidate for the job. Former Marlins exec Michael Hill has been linked to the job, and he's also reportedly a candidate for the Phillies' president of baseball operations vacancy. Presently, Ned Rice is serving as the Phillies' interim GM.
Whoever lands the job on a permanent basis will inherit a roster with talent but overall a franchise that hasn't made the postseason since 2011.
Happ garnering interest in free agent market
Free agent lefty J.A. Happ is beginning to drum up interest. According to Jon Morosi, the Angels and Rangers are among the teams who are considering a run at Happ.
Happ, 38, is coming off a strong 2020 season for the Yankees, as you see above. In nine starts, he put up an ERA+ of 123. Over the last three seasons combined, Happ has an ERA+ of 105 with a K/BB ratio of 3.26 in 388 1/3 innings. At Happ's age, he's obviously not a long-term solution, but teams in need of rotation help in 2021, such as the Angels and Rangers, could be possible landing spots.
As for the incumbent Yankees, Happ, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka are all free agents, which means the Yankees have work to do in the rotation this offseason. That's the case even after you account for the likely return of Luis Severino from Tommy John surgery.